A new cancer treatment facility, designed by Saint Paul-based BWBR Architects, is getting a bit of celebrity limelight with help from world-champion cyclist Lance Armstrong. As a cancer survivor, Armstrong gave the keynote address at a black-tie gala Friday evening (October 29) for the new Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls, S.D. The $93-million, 214,000-sq.-ft. project will provide medical oncology services, with specific treatment space for pediatric, women, and organ transplant patients.
In addition to the state-of-the-art diagnostic center and the ultimate in patient choice for private, semi-private, and family treatment rooms, Prairie Center incorporates healing gardens, walking paths, and numerous spaces for meditation and spiritual reflection. The design theme of the Avera Cancer Institute is "Prairie Wind," which features landscaping that includes native prairie grass and prominent waterfalls blend with local construction materials such as granite from South Dakota and limestone from Mankato, Minn., to create a familiar and serene environment for care and healing. Unique exterior architectural features include a curtain wall of south-facing glass, and rooftop garden.
The Avera Cancer Institute – Prairie Center is the first health care building in South Dakota to be registered as a LEED project by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Specific measures include energy and water conservation, passive solar design, and building materials that do not contain toxins known to contribute to cancer and other illnesses. The Avera Cancer Institute is the second cancer center in the region to be designed to LEED standards.
— Lindsey Collier